A little more than one-third (36%) of Americans say they believe they have an accent
From southern drawls to harried New England tones, over one-third of Americans say they have an accent, according to new data from YouGov Omnibus. But even those who say they don’t personally have an accent often still have an opinion on which accents are the strongest and which ones are the most attractive.
According to Americans, the place in the US with the strongest accent is Boston, with 23% of people choosing this response. Another 16% say the Southern coast has the strongest regional accent, while New York and Texas were tied, with 13% saying these states had the strongest accents.
Although Boston has the strongest accent of any place in the US, it’s generally not the one Americans say they find the most attractive. That honor goes to Southern accents: 18% say Southern coastal accents are the most attractive, while 12% say Texas accents are the most attractive. Another 12% say that they don’t find any American accents attractive at all.
Foreign accents tended to fare well with Americans. One-fifth (20%) of Americans say British accents are the most attractive, followed by French accents (13%), Australian accents (12%), and Irish accents (10%). Women (14%) are more likely than men (9%) to say they find Australian accents attractive, as well as Italian accents -- 9% of women say this is the most attractive accent, compared to only 4% of men.
Many people also say that it’s common for people to be judged on their accent. Almost three-quarters (73%) of Americans say it is “very” or “somewhat” common for people to be judged on their foreign accent. A near-equal amount (71%) also say it was common for people in the US to be judged on their regional accent.
A little more than one-third (36%) of Americans say they believe they have an accent. And of those who say they have an accent, about a third of that group feels they have been unfairly judged because of their accent. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people who live in the south were more likely than other regions to say that they have an accent, but generally, they were no more likely to feel they had been unfairly judged because of it.
When asked if they thought there was more of a stigma against people with regional or foreign accents in America, almost half (46%) say there’s more of a stigma against foreign accents. Another 14% say there’s more of a stigma against regional accents in the US (people in the south were especially likely to think this, despite largely not thinking that they themselves have been unfairly judged), and 18% say there is no difference.